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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

‘Don’t deprive my right to interview Najib, Rosmah’

The evidence of the prime minister and his wife is relevant, says the opposition leader.

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim claimed that he has been deprived of his right to interview Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor in his Sodomy II trial.

Anwar said this in his affidavit-in-reply to the affidavits filed by Najib and Rosmah in support of their applications to set aside a subpoena to compel them to be defence witnesses.

“They have said that they are not relevant witnesses… that their evidence is not relevant… we are saying it is,” said Anwar’s lawyer Sankara Nair at the Jalan Duta Court here today.

Anwar stated that he is not trying to show that there was a “conspiracy” but to get an explanation from both of them, which was relevant to his defence.

He also stated that when his lawyers interviewed Najib’s special assistant Khairil Anas Jusoh, the latter had admitted that he brought Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan to see the prime minister in his house on June 24, 2008. The session between Najib and Saiful allegedly lasted an hour.

“We want to know what happened in that one hour,” Sankara said.

Said Anwar in his affidavit: “I believe there is a lot more that was discussed between Najib and Saiful that is relevant to my defence. This is because Najib had initially announced that he never met with the complainant, then later said he did meet him to discuss about scholarship.”

Anwar said that he wanted Rosmah to explain about her meeting with Muhamad Rahimi Osman, a close friend of Saiful. (Rahimi was said to have gone to Rosmah to seek assistance on behalf of his friend.)

Anwar added that he believed she has full knowledge about his arrest as the police, specifically investigating officer DSP Judy Blacious Pereira, had taken Rosmah’s statement from her.

Credible witness

In the couple’s affidavits, Najib had admitted to meeting Saiful two days prior to the alleged sodomy.

However, both Najib and Rosmah had claimed to have no knowledge of the alleged sodomy and stated they were not relevant to the trial. Both had denied conspiring with anyone to incriminate Anwar.

“I categorically deny any notion that my wife and I conspired in ‘mereka-rekakan ataupun mengada-adakan’ anything which were very detrimental to the respondent (Anwar),” Najib had stated.

On Sept 21, Najib and Rosmah filed the applications to set aside the subpoenas. The couple is represented by four senior counsel – Salehuddin Saidin, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, M Athimulan and Ghazi Ishak.

The court is set to hear the applications tomorrow.

On Aug 8, trial judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah granted Anwar’s application to interview witnesses offered by the prosecution, including Najib and Rosmah. However, both had refused to speak to Anwar’s lawyers.

During Anwar’s first sodomy trial in 1998, then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was also subpoenaed and he succeded in setting it aside.

Mohamad Zabidin ordered Anwar to enter his defence on May 16 after ruling that Saiful was a truthful and credible witness.

Anwar, 65, claimed trial on Aug 7, 2008, to committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature at the Desa Damansara Condominium in Bukit Damansara between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

The sodomy trial is set to continue on Oct 3.

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